Azerbaijan is accused by an Iranian daily of seizing diplomatic properties.

As relations between the two countries continue to deteriorate, an Iranian daily has claimed that Azerbaijan intends to seize various Iranian properties and “cultural sites” in Azerbaijan.

The Farhikhtegan newspaper claims that among the other assets targeted are the Al-Mustafa International University facilities, Iran state television, and the offices of representatives of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Al-Mustafa University is a state-funded, university-style Shia seminary with branches in around 60 countries. It is run by the Islamic Propaganda Bureau of the Qom Seminary. Al-Mustafa has become Iran’s main tool for spreading Shi’ism around the globe.

The journal also took issue with Azerbaijan’s recent $20 million purchase of a property in Tehran’s affluent Pasdaran neighborhood, which is over three thousand square meters in size.

The move has been called “completely meaningless” by the newspaper, which notes that it was the result of Baku’s lobbying efforts after an attack on an embassy and that “Azerbaijan continues to seal and aims to confiscate Iranian properties.”

According to the magazine, the properties are “diplomatic sites,” and their seizure is not supported by any Azerbaijani court cases.

The charge is made against the backdrop of Iran’s considerable involvement in the Azerbaijan Republic, which includes supporting a range of cultural and religious endeavors meant to increase Iran’s influence in the area, promoting Shiism, and providing free tuition to seminary students in Azerbaijan.

The circumstances highlight the Islamic Republic’s persistent attempts to exert geopolitical and religious influence in Azerbaijan, especially after the latter’s independence.

Founded in 1991 with Iran’s help to export the Islamic Revolution, the Azerbaijan Islamic Party was disbanded four years later on charges of trying to topple the government and turn the nation into an Islamic republic.

Azerbaijan’s recent opening of an embassy in Iran’s archenemy, Israel, further strained relations between the two nations. An attempt to attack Israel’s embassy in Baku was thwarted just a year ago, with support from Iran.

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